China which has the world's largest population of Web users with more than 250 million targets top online portals and major search engines such as Google by launching a major crack down today. Though the government's Internet police Department struggle to block Web sites based out of China internal websites were blocked.
The government announcement said that Google and Baidu, which are China's most popularly used search engines, had failed to take "efficient" measures after receiving notices from the country's Internet watchdog that they were providing links to pornographic material. It also stated that popular Web portals Sina and Sohu, as well as a number of video sharing sites and online bulletin boards, that it said contain problematic photos, blogs and postings.
A statement, which was posted on the news and information Web site managed by the State Council, said that violators will be severely punished, but did not give details or say how long the campaign will last.
A Google spokeswoman in China, Cui Jin, defended the site's operations, saying it is a search engine and does not generate any pornographic content. The company obeys Chinese law, she said.
The central government has earlier blocked access to many Web sites it considers subversive or too political, which includes The New York Times' Web site on Dec. 19. But it was finally unblocked a couple of days later and remained open on Monday.
On the Net:
China information Web site managed by the State Council Information Office: http://china.com.cn